Monday, March 21, 2016

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook and Strawberry Chia Jam Filled Sunflower Thumbles


Life has been busy and I have been a little overwhelmed. Nothing great, nothing bad, just everyday life. The days are now longer, so naturally you would think there would be more time…..not sure what to say about that. Early mornings are just cool enough for us to start our hike off with a light jacket and end with the sleeves tied together around the waist. We were busy with family this week-end and my heart is somewhat heavy thinking about how much I will miss them as we head for Oregon next month.

Now for this wonderful book, "The I Quit Sugar Cookbook". The author; Sarah Wilson first quit sugar back in 2011 because of an autoimmune disease that was affecting her everyday life. But as she started to follow the path of going sugar free she recognized that food waste mattered as well. This really resonated with me as this has been my focus since the beginning of the year. What was shocking to learn was that the biggest source of CO2 emissions was food waste not cars. She also uses scraps and leftovers, repurposing them to create flavors for the next dish.

"The I Quit Sugar Cookbook" is filled with 306 recipes that embrace inventive breakfast ideas, snacks, dinners and dessert. That being said I was somewhat surprised by the lack of cookies and sweets. My only complaint is that it is a paperback.


I first prepared the strawberry chia jam. Here fresh seasonal strawberries, brown rice syrup, chia seeds and water were combined in a saucepan, and heated until the mixture bubbled and then thickened. Loved the flavor, so intense.


Now for the thumbles, they were made mainly of sunflower seeds and buckwheat flour. Called thumbles because you use your thumb to make the jam indents. If you are used to super sweet cookies these might not work for you. But because they are not so sweet the flavor of the seeds and buckwheat flour really shone through.

“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”
Cheri Savory Spoon
Cheri Savory Spoon

Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.

60 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about time disappearing. Poof! That's how the days go for us :) Looks like you had a lot of fun with this book!

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  2. I JUST made my first chia jam the other day --- it's a game changer! Love these little cookies :)

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    1. Thanks Sue, it sure is, love the intense flavor.

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  3. I cannot believe you are leaving for Oregon so soon! I love the word thumbles and will have to come up with a recipe soon that uses it 😀

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    1. Hi Tandy, I know we are leaving towards the end of next month, trying to leave early so I can get the garden in.

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  4. Although I do like my sweets, I don't mind cookies that are a little less sweet. These would be a nice change of pace, even for those of us who still eat sugar!

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    1. Thanks Beth, oh I still eat sugar I go back and forth between no sugar and lots of sugar.

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  5. Hey dear. Next month we will also move to Bangalore, a southern city of India..so m little bit upset for that...lovely recipe. stoping having sugar totally is not possible for me...but now days I have started adding sunflower, pumpkin,watermelon, flax,sesame seeda in my cooking..it is helping me to keep my body fit and also reduce weight

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    1. Hi Moumita, are you moving for good? always hard to leave family and friends. Great idea to add seeds and watermelon, will start doing the same.

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  6. Dear Cheri, hope things will be a bit easier in the weeks to come...this book sounds very interesting, we could all use some lovely recipes that make great use of left-overs and call for no sugar - love that this recipe calls for buckwheat flour instead of the AP, I have been baking with different flours a lot lately and I am always curious to find new recipes.

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    1. Thanks Andrea, regarding the flours I have been doing the same, so many different types out there now.

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  7. So nice to hear from you Chri. These recipes look wonderful. I love the variation on thumbprint cookies. D

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    1. Thanks Dena, they do take a little getting used to but they are delicious.

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  8. I love buckwheat flour and use it often. Doubt that I would ever eliminate sugar completely, but certainly there would be some interesting ideas for baking in this book. Because sugar is used mostly in baking desserts etc., I guess it's not a surprise to find few dessert recipes in it. Still, Cheri, the less sugar we eat, the better off we are,

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    1. Hi Barbara, you are so right, I go in between very little sugar to tons of sugar. That probably means I am addicted. I have been baking with other flours lately and really enjoy the flavors and texture.

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  9. We often make chia jam and I actually prefer it, as the texture is much chunkier.

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    1. Thanks Dannii, I really enjoyed it too as I thought the flavor was more intense.

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  10. Hi Cheri,
    Oh this reminds me to make some nice strawberry chia jam !

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    1. Hi Karen, never made chia jam before, so glad that I did, you cannot beat the texture.

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  11. I always love chia fruity jam...so delicious that you can't believe that it's healthy! These thumbles are fantastic with buckwheat and sunflower seeds. Well done, Cheri.

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    1. Thanks Angie, so true about the jam. I can't beleive it is so easy to make.

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  12. This sounds like an interesting book, Cheri. I like the idea of reducing food waste. The jam sounds so delicious! I like foods where the flavor is intense. I hope things slow down a little bit for you and you can catch your breath. We have been very busy with company, and will be until about the middle of April. I love seeing everyone, I just can't figure out how to keep up my blog at the same time, though. I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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    1. Hi Shari, I know exactly what you mean the weather is so nice here this time of year, it seems like we have one commitment after another.

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  13. I know I will like these thumbles, I always finds American desserts overly sweet.

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    1. Hi Norma, have been trying to cut down my sugar intake, though one time I make something with hardly any sugar and the next time I go all out. Take care!

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  14. This sounds like a great book! I have some friends who have quit sugar and they feel so much better–I've been trying to cut back but not quite ready to quit yet! :) I also like how this author uses scraps and leftovers, cutting down on waste–I just may have to get this book! :)

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    1. Hi Nancy, I've been going back and fourth with the sugar, I've heard others say they feel so much better too after quitting.

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  15. I doubt if I'll ever quit sugar, but it's something I think about from time to time. One of my problems is the normal substitutes either don't taste good to me, or have unpleasant (although mild) side effects. Anyway, fun thimbles! And fun post -- thanks.

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    1. Thanks John, I agree, most of the substitutes are not great.

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  16. Back to Oregon already next month? Wow, that time went fast. You are so fortunately to have the best of both worlds but I'm sure it's hard to leave family. These thimbles look delicious and sound healthy enough to have for breakfast!

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    1. Hi Susan, this year we are trying to go back early to get the veggie garden ready, we have to build a little wire fence around the perimeter under ground to fight the moles that keep coming in. Take care!

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  17. Quitting sugar is the biggest challenge I face. I would love to lose weight, but just can't give up the sweets. You've got me thinking, Cheri!

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    1. Same thing here Coco, sugar is so delicious and addicting.

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  18. Sugar is delicious and indeed it can be super addicting, but I have to avoid it, unfortunately due to my disease. I try to eat healthy and avoid any sugar, including fructose.

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    1. Hi Agness, I am trying to cut down on sugar but it is a pretty hard thing to do. I admire you for doing what you have to do.

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  19. Quitting sugar would be a big challenge for me-but probably very good for me, too! This thumble looks good, but that jam is very "sweet" looking!

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    1. Hi Abbe, the jam was quick to make a super flavorful, will be making that again.

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  20. It is a shame sugar is so bad for us - but I really love to bake with it! These healthy cookies sound wonderful. Happy Easter!

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    1. Thanks Tricia, Hope you had a great Easter with your family.

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  21. Love how open-minded and adventurous you are in trying new recipes and ideas. It's definitely worth taking a look at. I can't imagine not making cookies and enjoying dessert in moderation and if recipes like these are an answer, that's great.

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    1. Thanks Monica, I know I like to have a little something sweet everyday, but trying to cut back.

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  22. Strawberry chia jam sounds delicious! I would never like to quit the sugar totally though. It's not THAT bad if you don't eat it too much.

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    1. Hi Marcela, I agree, everything in moderation.

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  23. The biggest complaint about classic American sweets from my Japanese friends is, "too sweet!" So your strawberry sunflower thumbles are perfect. P.s. It is surprising that the book doesn't have more cookie / cake treat recipes =) P.s.2 It is hard leaving family behind.

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    1. Hi Kim, yes I have heard that before too. Thinking that I need to pick up a few Japanese cookbooks.

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  24. Hi Cheri:)
    What a timely post. My daughter has been on a no sugar diet for Lent and she is amazed at how much better she is feeling. The problem is trying to find recipes that use less sugar or a good sugar substitute. I will be pinning this book and review of yours and sharing it with her. She will be thrilled!!!

    As for me, I'm not quite ready to quit but I too would love to cut down. Maybe she will buy the book and share with her mama, lol...

    The time sure has been flying by. I'm not sure if it's because Spring has arrived and I feel like I must spring into action or simply because life just seems to get busy, busy, busy.

    Have a safe trip back to Oregon, good luck with those moles. My son-in-law has been using the hose full force to "wash" the moles out of their nests. Last count he caught 28 of them!!! Thanks for sharing this thumbprint cookie recipe Cheri. They look sooooo yummy!!!

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    1. Hi Louise, Wow! 28 moles that is incredible. Will have to try that method too.

      I've been trying to cut down on sugar but it really is probably one of the hardest things to do.

      Take care.

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  25. This sounds like an awesome book, Cheri. And Strawberry with chia jam is just delicious! YUM!

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  26. I didn't know you could prepare jam without sugar. I thought it was a preservative as well as sweetener. Interesting.
    Amalia
    xo

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  27. I'm not sure I can quit sugar, Cheri... but reducing it would be a great idea. Also, I try to reduce my food waste as one of my students told me about the CO2 emissions. I was shocked. Thanks for sharing this review.

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    1. Hi David, yes, the CO2 emissions is hard to believe. I still don't think my husband thinks it's true. Take care!

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